How to Ask Your Partner for a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements, also called “prenups” or premarital arrangements, are legal contracts that establish the property and financial rights of each spouse should a marriage end in divorce. Prenuptial agreements are a somewhat controversial topic for a number of reasons. Some individuals believe that prenups are only necessary for celebrity weddings or for those people who do not plan on being married for the rest of their lives. They think, why plan for a divorce before the marriage has even begun?
In reality, prenuptial agreements are one of the most responsible things you can do to protect your financial interests. Signing one does not mean that you think the marriage is doomed to fail. Consider it a different way; if you own a car, you must have car insurance. This does not mean that you believe you will crash the car or get into an accident. You are simply planning for the worst while hoping for the best. When it comes to prenuptial agreements, the old adage “better safe than sorry” holds true.
Deciding You Want a Prenup
It never hurts to have a prenuptial agreement in place, but it is more necessary in some circumstances than others. If you or your partner own real estate or a business, have a significant difference in income and assets, or are in debt, a prenuptial agreement may be right for you. The agreement will protect both you and your spouse’s interests in case of a divorce. Without one in place, many of the decisions about property and assets will have to be decided in the midst of the break-up. This adds even more challenges to an already stressful situation.
Have an Honest Conversation with Your Partner
Michele Lowrance, coauthor of "The New Love Deal: Everything You Must Know Before Marrying, Moving In, Or Moving On!” has some advice for those who plan to ask their partner to sign a prenuptial agreement. First, instead of demanding that you want a prenup, make it a collaborative discussion. Start the conversation with “let’s talk about getting a prenuptial agreement” instead of “we are getting a prenup.” Next, try to focus on your own desires and fears. Use “I” statements like “I am worried about what will happen to me financially if this marriage does not last.” It is understandable that some strong emotions will arise during the discussion. Do your best to stay calm. Take breaks if needed to let you or your partner cool down. Finally, Lowrance recommends that couples make a concerted effort to listen to what the other has to say. "Allow a partner to finish speaking and then ask if she or he has anything else to add," says Lowrance. "If you speak before the other is finished, your words will be automatically filtered out.”
We Can Help
The discussions that are required in developing a strong prenuptial agreement can lay the foundation for open and honest communication during your marriage. If you are considering a prenup, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney for help. Call MKFM Law for a confidential consultation today.